Episode 7 The Difference between Discomfort and Suffering

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Episode 7 The Difference between Discomfort and Suffering

Discomfort is necessary. Suffering is optional. In this episode, I tell you what turns discomfort into suffering so you can notice when you’re doing it and shift back to discomfort.   If you open up to what I’m saying and implement what you learn in this episode then you will be in charge of your peace of mind rather than depending in your child to change.

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This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

I’m Heather and this is the Living With Addiction podcast where I show you how you have more power than you realize when it comes to helping yourself and your child that’s struggling with addiction.

Hello, how’s everybody doing today? So today I wanna talk to you about discomfort versus suffering. So discomfort in life is necessary and happening often, but suffering is optional. And today I’m going to tell you how

you’re taking the discomfort of your child’s addiction and causing yourself great suffering, which is exactly what I did to myself as well. Having the discernment to see the difference between the two and know when I was causing my own suffering also gave me the ability to provide my own relief.

from my suffering. So if you take the time to listen to this episode and listen as many times as you need to in order to fully understand this concept and put it to use in your life, you can start easing your suffering today. Today. It will take mindfulness and discipline, but you can do it. So.

I just want to say to let this concept be easy for you. It’s not complicated. Don’t complicate it. I talked a little about my before and after process with myself and my clients in episodes five and six. And if you want to hear more about that, I recommend listening to those episodes if you haven’t already.

But knowing this difference between, excuse me, discomfort and suffering transformed me from before where my daughter’s addiction was running my life and I was completely dependent on her to change so I could feel better, to after where I understood and used this concept. I had the confidence

that I could depend on myself to handle any situation. And I knew that 100%, 100% of my peace of mind and happiness depends on me. And my daughter did not have to change in order for me to have peace of mind and happiness. So it’s not that I no longer wanted her to change. Of course I wanted her to be happy and healthy.

and not to have to go through all the things that addiction brings into a person’s life. The difference is I no longer needed it. I no longer needed her to change. I wasn’t desperately trying to force or control what I wanted her to do. And the important difference here is when you’re in discomfort versus when you’re in suffering.

What I’m telling you is life-changing. So if your mind is wandering, tune back in because you’ve really got to listen to this. You need to understand the difference between discomfort and suffering. Before I had this difference in my awareness, I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself. I was judging my discomfort and causing myself great suffering.

We experience discomfort all day, every day. It’s just a part of being human. Every time you do something that you don’t want to do, you’re experiencing discomfort. It’s only discomfort and not suffering because you see that you have a choice in it and you aren’t judging it. It’s the judgment that creates the suffering. So even something as normal as getting out of bed in the morning to go to work can go from discomfort

to suffering if you don’t see your choices in the situation and you judge it. So you wake up, notice how warm and cozy you are, you’re still sleepy, you just want a little more sleep, but you don’t want to be late. So you get up. That’s discomfort. When you start adding judgment to the situation, you cause yourself to suffer. If you were judging the situation,

You would have the thoughts I mentioned above, but on top of that, you would also be thinking, I’m such a loser. I should be a retired millionaire already. My life sucks. My job is torture. I hate driving to work. Just judging everything. Stealing any chance you have at peace of mind or happiness. And this example is pretty mild.

compared to what you do to yourself when it comes to your child’s addiction. I know this because myself and all the parents that I work with experience torturous judgments about their child’s addiction.

I like to use examples that don’t have anything to do with addiction when I introduce new concepts because we’re so entrenched in our kid’s addiction. It’s so emotional that it’s hard for us to see anything different. So hopefully you are thinking through the getting out of bed example and opening your mind up to it. When it comes to your child’s addiction.

discomfort is my child is addicted and it hurts.

That’s it. That’s enough discomfort. Let it be what it is. You don’t need to add anything else to it. Suffering is caused by every judgment you have about your child, judgments about their addiction, what you make their addiction mean about you, and resisting the reality of it.

Suffering is their addiction is my fault. If I was a better parent, they wouldn’t be addicted to drugs or alcohol. If they loved me, they would stop. If they respected me, they would get sober. My addicted child should be more like my star student child. They’re just weak. They need to toughen up and cope without using. This shouldn’t be happening.

My life wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. All of these judgments are taking you from discomfort to suffering. They’re wasting so much precious energy. The judgments have you so caught up in inventorying all of your problems that you have no time or energy for solutions.

I want you to think of judgments as roadblocks. They keep you stuck. They stop all progress. They raise your emotions, and when your emotions are high, your thinking and reasoning is low. It’s just how our brains work. So if you wanna be able to focus on solutions, then you have to release the judgments. Once you release the judgments, you’re back in discomfort.

And that discomfort is, my child is addicted and it hurts. So instead of judgment, open up to compassion. When you’re in compassion, you can be present with their addiction instead of resisting it. If you can be present with their addiction, then it’s no longer in control. So just sit with that for a moment because it’s really important.

If you can be present with their addiction, then it’s no longer in control. So I want you to close your eyes.

Breathe deeply and imagine their addiction and being present with it. Let go of resistance, take your power back from it.

Picture it sitting next to you.

Give it a name and a face like an avatar. Mine is an angry cartoon like little storm cloud that’s pouting. Like that’s what I picture when I picture just sitting with my daughter’s addiction. Notice how physically tense and uncomfortable it makes you sitting there next to it.

Feel what that feels like in your body. Get familiar with it because I want you to see it as a signal when you’re interacting with your child and that comes up. So I want you to be so familiar with that feeling that the next time you’re interacting with them and their addiction is coming up and you feel that tenseness, that your heart racing, whatever it is.

that being that discomfort in your body, that being present with their addiction causes. I want you to be so familiar with it. And when it comes up, I want you to see it as a signal and know that you’re resisting it and you’re not being present with it.

So make peace with it. Understand that little storm cloud is full of pain.

accept it so you can work with it. And I want you to practice that on your own until you feel the shift from resistance to acceptance. Like even just talking about this right now and going through that process in my mind while I’m sharing it with you helps me open up more, helps me see the ways

even though I’m not that resistant to it anymore, I could see a few ways that it was sneaking in and I was having some resistance. I was seeing the ways that that comes up for me. And it’s so important to keep this in your awareness and build that skill of just being able to be present with their addiction.

Just keep practicing it until you’re comfortable with it. It’s just such a powerful skill. And once you reach acceptance, a whole new world of options opens up for you. It’s so much easier to see your choices and make decisions. And as I’m saying this, I’m also remembering how good I got at just sitting with my daughter’s addiction.

how I made that switch from that just rigid resistance, like I was trying to push over a brick wall to just accepting it and being able to sit with the discomfort of it. I could see her, I could see her addiction, what it was doing to her life, how it was hurting her, and I could be completely present with it.

I didn’t have to run from it, try to hide from it, didn’t have to fight it by constantly reminding her that her life would be better if she was sober. I was just there to love her as she was in that moment, fully present and have tons of compassion for both of us.

And by the way, I just want to make sure you know when I say compassion, it doesn’t mean that I never said no. But it certainly shifted the energy of every no. Every no felt different to me and I know it felt different to her. So back to sitting with their addiction. I really hope you’re listening to what I’m saying and feeling the possibility of the freedom.

that you can gain from being able to sit with their addiction. When you gain this skill, their addiction no longer needs to go away for you to be in control of how you feel. That sense of urgency goes away. When you feel a sense of urgency for anything to happen, not just your child’s addiction, but when you have a sense of urgency for anything to happen, it’s because you believe that thing

how you think you will feel when it happens. That feeling, whatever it is, is available to you now. You want your child’s addiction to be over so you can feel relief from it. I’m telling you that relief is available to you right now and you have to be the one to provide it for yourself. So stop judging and resisting their addiction and start creating your own peace of mind.

So I think I just gave you plenty to work on. So that’s all I have for you for today. But I want you to listen to this episode as many times as you need to in order to get this concept down because it works. And as soon as you feel that shift in yourself, you’ll know it. You’ll be able to start creating more peace of mind for yourself. So I’ll talk to you next week, bye.


Thank you for listening to this episode. If you wanna learn more about my work, go to heat If you wanna help other parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction, you can do it two different ways. First, you can share the podcast with them directly, or you can share it on your social media. Second, you can leave a review. Talk to you next week.